Less than a year ago, WRI Brasil proposed the creation of a forum for different cities to exchange experiences and knowledge about their transportation systems. Today, this proposal is already a reality with the QualiÔnibus Benchmarking Group, with the participation of nine members. Since then, the Group has met periodically to discuss the challenges they face in their public transport systems and to exchange experiences and solutions. The decrease in the number of public transport users is forcing cities to find ways to improve their services. The increase in the use of cars makes the streets more congested, the air more polluted and generates an increase in the number of traffic accidents, making urban mobility unsustainable. However, cities are not alone when it comes to finding solutions or resolving an impasse. This is the idea behind the activities of the Benchmarking Group.

Since its formation, the group has been working on applying standardized tools to evaluate its transportation systems: the Quality Indicators and the QualiÔnibus Satisfaction Survey. The tools, developed by WRI Brasil with financial support from the FedEx Corporation, enable riders to assess the transportation service and to provide system performance information so that improvements make bus service more attractive.

Representing its transport systems by bus, the nine participants are:

  • ETUFOR, Fortaleza (Urban Transport Company of Fortaleza)

  • BHTRANS, Belo Horizonte (Transport and Traffic Company of Belo Horizonte)

  • SETTRA, Juiz de Fora (Secretary of Transport and Transit)

  • ICPS and GRCTM, Recife (Institute of Pelopidas Silveira City and Greater Recife Consortium of Metropolitan Transportation)

  • SPTRANS, São Paulo (São Paulo Transportation)

  • SETTRAN, Uberlândia (Secretary of Transit and Transport)

  • SEDEST, Uberaba (Secretary of Social Defense, Transit and Transportation)

  • SETOP, State of Minas Gerais (Secretary of State for Transport and Public Works)

  • FETRANSPOR (Federation of Passenger Transport Companies of the State of Rio de Janeiro).

Last May, the Group held its second meeting in Recife, where participants could discuss more deeply the problems they are facing - such as the decrease in the number of passengers, public safety issues, how to improve customer satisfaction, among others - and what they are doing to solve them. The meeting was also an opportunity to discuss the main challenges and solutions for the application of the Qualitative Satisfaction Survey, as well as the lessons learned in the process. Most of the members have already carried out the research or started the planning stages and intend to apply it in 2018.

Also presented were the results of the first collection of Quality Indicators by the participants in April 2018. Modifications and adjustments were discussed for the tool to be built collaboratively, to meet the needs of the participants and to be a useful tool in quality management.

The Group also took the opportunity to learn more about the transport system of the host city. A technical visit was made to some points of the Recife BRT system and to the Operation Monitoring Center, which is in the implementation phase and will monitor and control the Recife bus service. The Recife team also presented to the Group their Origin-Destination Research method, which through online research, reduces the cost of this type of research and allows it to be used more often, offering great benefits in mobility planning for Recife.

In addition to face-to-face meetings twice a year, Group members hold monthly online meetings that allow the sharing of good practices and discussion of important transportation issues. The Group’s performance over the first few months was evaluated at the meeting in Recife, so that the group could consider changes to further optimize discussion.

Three Benchmarking Organizations are also part of the Benchmarking Group that support the technical discussions and help WRI Brasil to promote an exchange of experiences. These are the National Association of Urban Transport Companies (NTU), Institute of Transportation and Development Policies (ITDP Brasil) and the Center for Studies in Regulation and Infrastructure of the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV/CERI).

For additional information on the QualiÔnibus Benchmarking Group, contact us via e-mail qualionibus@wri.org.